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Las Vegas and the Metropolitan Revolution

Politics, Power, and Policy

By David Damore, Karen A. Danielsen, and William E. Brown Jr.

Seeing the America of Tomorrow in Las Vegas Today

With more than 2 million people in one corner of an otherwise mostly rural state, Greater Las Vegas represents the most extreme mismatch in the country between a large-scale metro area and the rest of its state. The city and its sprawling suburbs are now a majority-minority metropolis, while the rest of Nevada is much less diverse. This disparity in population carries over into economics, politics, and virtually every other aspect of modern life.

The demographic characteristics of Las Vegas also represent the future of the United States. By 2060 the nation overall will mirror the demography of Las Vegas of 2018. To understand and meet the public policy challenges facing the nation’s growing Sunbelt metro regions in future generations, it’s necessary to study today’s Las Vegas—not just the faux glitter of the famed casinos but the hard, everyday realities of a working, and still-growing, metropolis.

This book, edited by three urban experts who live and work in Las Vegas, examines the city and its region through the lens of a previous, influential Brookings book. The Metropolitan Revolution: How Cities and Metros Are Fixing Our Broken Politics and Fragile Economy, by Bruce Katz and Jennifer Bradley, which argues that urban areas can be more capable of solving some of the nation’s pressing policy problems than are the politicians ensnared in the gridlock of Washington and in state capitals. Following that theme, Damore, Danielsen, and Brown highlight several areas where Southern Nevada has used coalitional politics to advance its social and economic interests, as well as instances when intraregional factions have undermined critical priorities.

Las Vegas and the Metropolitan Revolution will appeal to a broad audience: students and scholars of public policy; readers in the American West;, urban planners, policymakers, politicians, and appointed officials; and political, business, and community leaders in large metropolitan areas throughout the country.

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